Star Trek (1966–1969): Season 3, Episode 9 - The Tholian Web - full transcript

Kirk and the derelict starship Defiant vanish into a spatial interphase between universes. To rescue him, Spock must maintain position despite a growing, violent hysteria aboard the Enterprise, like that which destroyed the Defiant's crew, as well as a force field being laid around the Enterprise by Tholian patrol ships.

Captain's log, stardate 5693.2.

We are approaching the last
reported position of the starship Defiant,

which vanished three weeks ago.

We are in unsurveyed territory.

We're registering curious readings
from all sensors.

- Specify.
- l cannot.

According to our instruments,
space is breaking up.

No known phenomenon
would account for these readings.

- Sensor failure?
- l have run a check on all systems.

- We're losing power.
- How bad is it?

l don't like the look of it.
And l cannot find out the cause.

Visual detection of an object
dead ahead.

- Spock?
- Fascinating.

- Explain.
- There is virtually no sensor contact.

No mass analysis, no trace of radiation.

We see it,
but our sensors indicate it is not there.

The Defiant!

Mr Sulu, impulse engines only.
Close to transporter range.

- Open up a hailing frequency.
- Sir, there is no response.

- Just within transporter range, sir.
- Maintain position.

Mr Spock, Mr Chekov, come with me.

Dr McCoy,
report to the transporter room.

- Scotty, you have the conn.
- Aye, sir.

- Locked in on the Defiant bridge.
- Energise.

Space - the final frontier.

These are the voyages
of the starship Enterprise.

lts five-year mission,
to explore strange new worlds,

to seek out new life
and new civilisations,

to boldly go
where no man has gone before.

Has there ever been a mutiny
on a starship before?

Absolutely no record
of such an occurrence.

The captain's neck is broken.

The ship is still functioning. The
mutineers must be somewhere aboard.

Use the sensors to locate them.

Kirk to Enterprise. Prepare to beam
over a full security squad on my orders.

Captain, there is no sign of life
aboard this vessel.

Odd, Mr Spock. Very odd.

Spock, you stay with me. Chekov, go
to engineering and life support systems.

Dr McCoy, check out the sickbay.

Kirk to Enterprise.
Cancel the security squad.

- Stand by for further instructions.
- Aye, aye. Standing by.

l can't get an accurate fix on the Defiant,
but l know it's drifting away from us.

Shall l correct for range, sir?

Aye. Keep us within beaming range,
but not too close.

- Captain.
- Report, Mr Chekov.

Just like what l found in life support.
All dead.

Get back up here.

- Kirk to McCoy.
- McCoy here.

can you tell me what they all died of?

- l'd say these people killed each other.
- They what?

You heard correctly.
They killed each other.

Could...mental disease
have infected all of the crew?

The medical surgeon down here
didn't even know what was going on.

The best l can do is get readings
and analyse them later.

- What the devil...?
- Bones, what is it?

Bones, what is it? Answer me.

- Answer me.
- This ship is dissolving.

My hand passed through
a man and a table.

Get back up here on the double.

Mr Scott, the Defiant.
lt's starting to disappear.

Bridge to transporter room.

- O'Neil here.
- Got that transporter working?

No, sir. Not yet.

Take over, Mr Sulu.
l'll be in the transporter room.

The Defiant's sensors correspond
to those of the Enterprise.

So what happened to the Defiant
might be happening to the Enterprise.

Kirk to Enterprise.
Mr Scott, stand by to beam us back.

- l can't, sir. Not all at once.
- What's happened?

Everything. That ship you're in is fading
and ripping the innards out of this one.

lt's jamming our transporter frequencies.
Only three are working.

One of you has got to wait.

Chekov, McCoy,
prepare for transportation.

- You too, Spock.
- Request permission to remain.

- Request denied.
- There is a chance...

l know what the chances are. Don't
argue. Get back with the information.

l'll be right there.

- Scotty, energise transporter.
- Aye.


lt's gone.

The Defiant just vanished.



l've done all l can. There's nothing out
there to grab a hold of and bring in.

The ship must have
taken the captain with it.

- Computer working.
- Compute the next spatial interphase.

- lnterphase two hours, 12 minutes.
- Two hours and 12 minutes?

The ship is starting to drift.
l can't hold her in place that long.

Try. The fabric of space
is very weak here.

lf we disturb it, there will be no chance
of retrieving the captain alive.

l don't understand what's so special
about this region of space.

Picture it this way.

Our universe coexists with others
in the same physical space.

For brief periods of time, an area of
their space overlaps an area of ours.

During that interphase, we can connect
with the Defiant's universe.

Mr Spock?

We will be able to retrieve the captain
at that time, won't we?

Yes. However, the dimensional structure
of each universe is dissimilar.

Any use of power disturbs it.

lf we are not careful, we shall lose the
captain and become trapped ourselves.

- l see.
- And die like him?



Security guards to the bridge.

What happened, Mr Spock?

l was attempting to explain the nature
of our problems when he attacked.

Did anyone notice anything peculiar
before this?

l think he had several spasms of pain.

- Did he seem hysterical?
- He seemed more angry than scared.

He had no cause to be angry.

Take Mr Chekov to sickbay.
Put him under restraint.

Lieutenant Uhura is correct.
There was murderous fury in Chekov.

The same fury
which was evident in the Defiant.

Whatever drove the crew of the Defiant
to murder could be communicable.

ls there anything you need
to isolate the cause?


And l think it might be wise to put some
distance between us and the Defiant.

lf we are to recover the captain,
we must not move.

- How long will that take?
- Two hours before we can try.

Spock, are you sure
that Jim is still alive?

He was caught in our transporter beam
when the Defiant phased out.

He may have been spared
the shock of transition and survived.

However, if we are to recover him,

we must catch him
at the precise moment, or he will die.

There is no margin for error.

His environmental unit can provide air
for no more than 3.62 hours.

Mr Spock. A vessel approaching
on an intercept vector.

- Status.
- Range 200,000 kilometres.

Velocity, 0.51 c.

- Lieutenant Uhura, signal Red Alert.
- Aye, sir. All decks go to Red Alert.

They've stopped dead, sir.
Range 90,000 kilometres and holding.

- l'm receiving a visual signal.
- Transfer to main viewer.

l am Commander Loskene.

You are trespassing in an annex
of the Tholian Assembly.

You must leave immediately.

Spock, in command of
the Federation starship Enterprise.

According to the Federation,
this area is free space.

We claim this territory and are prepared
to use force to protect our property.

We are not interested in your force.

We are responding to a distress signal
and are engaged in rescue operations.

- Do you wish to assist us?
- l find no evidence of a disabled ship.

Ours are the only two vessels
in this area.

The other ship is trapped and should
reappear in one hour and 53 minutes.

- We request you stand by until then.
- Very well.

ln the interest of amity, we will wait
precisely one hour and 53 minutes.

But be correct.
We do not tolerate deceit.

lf we could find the proper filtering agent,
we could solve this problem.

Negative. lt's the third failure.

Nurse, take this sample
and run an analysis on it.

Yes, Doctor.

- Bridge to transporter room.
- Transporter room here.

Ready for interphase in 20 seconds.

Dr McCoy!

Thank you, nurse. Call security.
l want to have checks run on this man.

Lock onto Captain Kirk's coordinates
and prepare to bring him aboard.

- Bring him aboard, Mr Scott.
- l'm trying.

Captain Kirk is not
on his designated coordinates.

Keep trying, Mr Scott.
Lieutenant Sulu, evaluation.

Sensor readings are not corresponding
to those we last received.

lt is possible the Tholian entry
into the area has disturbed the space.

- lf that has occurred...
- McCoy to bridge.

- Spock here.
- ls the captain aboard yet?

- Negative, Doctor.
- When will that interphase happen?

Theoretically, it already has happened.

But the sensors
are not responding as predicted.

- l thought you had it timed out.
- l did.

The space was disturbed
by the Tholians.

Will you be able
to recover the captain or not?

Not at this interphase. l will have to
determine when the next one will occur.

- They do not take place regularly.
- We've had another case like Chekov.

l had to confine my orderly to sickbay.

l have confidence that
you will soon isolate the cause,

and prevent any further spread.

The disease
is not transmitted by the men.

The cause is this area of space.
lt's affecting the whole crew.

The structure of the brain tissues in
the central nervous system is distorting.

The madness that affected the Defiant's
crew will soon happen here.

You've got to get us out of here.

We're being fired upon.

- The renowned Tholian punctuality.
- Mr Spock.

Damage control report. Minor structural
damage to sections A-4 and C-13.

Hold power steady
and cut off all unnecessary expenditure.

Divert all but emergency maintenance
power to the shields.

But that will reduce
phaser power by 50%.

Mr Spock!

Scott to bridge.

- Spock here.
- Do something about that ship!

Understood. Uhura,
open a channel to the Tholian ship.

- Lock in phaser tracking controls.
- Phasers locked in, sir.

- There's no response, sir.
- What's the use of this battle?

- Take this ship out of here.
- Ready, Mr Sulu?

- Ready, Mr Spock.
- Fire.

A hit, Mr Spock.

Engineering, status report. Mr Scott?

That hit we took has fused
our power supply converters.

l can't do a thing with the Enterprise
now. She's bound to drift.

Maybe through that doorway.

- Estimate time required for repair.
- l don't know if she can be repaired.

Are you satisfied?

- Why did you do it?
- The decision to fight was logical.

Lack of time prevented any other action.
The Tholian ship had to be disabled.

You should have done everything
in your power to safeguard your crew.

That is a mark of a starship captain.
Like Jim.

l hardly believe this is the time
for comparisons.

Please go and search for an antidote
to the effects of this space.

That is your primary task,
since we must remain here.

Mr Spock, something has
just entered sensor range.

lt's another Tholian, sir.
Loskene must have contacted them.

- Fascinating.
- Shall l lock in remaining phaser power?

Negative. Open a channel
to the approaching vessel.

- They're refusing reception.
- Distance.

Just beyond phaser range, sir.

What is that?

Mr Sulu, l shall run an analysis
on those filaments.

Tie in all sensors
to the ship's library computer console.

- Switch scanners.
- Yes, sir.

There's no analogue
to this in Federation technology.

lt is, however, an energy field.

lf the Tholians complete it
before we have completed our repairs,

we shall not see home again.

Your last report on an antidote
was negative.

lt's still negative, Mr Spock.

Theragen is the most promising
substance so far. We're progressing.

The urgency requires your attention
in the laboratory.

My staff are working around the clock.
My presence will not affect the tests.

This service requires
my personal attention.

A few hours ago, the captain
elected to remain on board the Defiant

so that three crewmembers would have
a chance of returning to the Enterprise.

His concern was not only for them,

but for all the members
of the crew of this ship.

You all know the sequence of events.
We were fired upon by the Tholian ship.

At that time, Captain Kirk
may have been alive.

l deemed it necessary
to return the Tholian fire

for the safety of the Enterprise.

The Tholian ship has been disabled.

But as a result of the battle,

we must accept the fact
that Captain Kirk is no longer alive.

Take him to sickbay.
Put him in restraints.

l shall not attempt to voice the respect
and admiration

which Captain Kirk commanded.

Each of you must evaluate the loss
in the privacy of your own thoughts.



There is a duty to be performed
which requires our presence.

lt can wait. My duties require
my immediate presence on the bridge.

The captain left a message tape.

lt was his order that it be reviewed by us
should he ever be declared dead.

- You have just declared Jim dead.
- lt will wait for a more suitable moment.

Why? Are you afraid
it will change your status?

The mental and physical state
of this crew are your top priority.

The captain's last order is.

You will honour that order
before you take over.

He was a hero in every sense,
yet his life was sacrificed for nothing.

Only the ship's safety
would have given his death meaning.

- You've made that impossible.
- We came here for a purpose.

Maybe not the same one.

l came here to find out
why you stayed and fought.

The captain would have stayed
to recover a crewmember

at the risk of his own life or the ship.

Yes, he would. But you didn't have
that decision to make.

What did you have to gain
by fighting the Tholians?

You could have assured
your captaincy by leaving.

But you chose to stay. Why?

l need not explain my rationale
to you or any other crewmember.

There is a margin of variation
in any experiment.

While there was a chance, l was bound
to ascertain the captain's status.

You mean to be sure if he was dead.

- You made certain of that.
- That is enough.

- We both have other things to do.
- Yes, l have something to do.

lf this crew is to survive,
l have to find an antidote to this space.

You'll return to your duty when
we've discharged this responsibility.

There's no hurry. The antidote
probably doesn't concern you.

Vulcans are probably immune,
so take your time.

l don't understand you, Spock, but l can't
believe you'd want Jim's command.

But if you get us out of this situation,

they'll pin a medal on your chest
and give you command.

Doctor, l am in command
of the Enterprise.

l would like to remedy that situation.

lf you believe l have acted irregularly,
relieve me of duty.

That is your prerogative
as medical officer.

Bones, Spock, since you're playing this,
we will assume that l am dead,

the situation is critical, and both of you
are locked in mortal combat.

lt means Spock has control of the ship

and is probably making the most
difficult decisions of his career.

l can offer only one small
piece of advice, for what it's worth.

Use every scrap of knowledge
and logic you have to save the ship.

But temper your judgment
with intuitive insight.

l believe you have those qualities,
but if you can't find them in yourself,

seek out McCoy.

Ask his advice.

And if you find it sound, take it.

Bones, you've heard what
l've just told Spock.

Help him if you can.

But he is the captain. His decisions
must be followed without question.

You might find that he is capable
of human insight and human error.

They are most difficult to defend.

But you will find that he is deserving
of the same loyalty and confidence

each of you have given me.

Take care.

Spock, l er... l'm sorry.

lt does hurt, doesn't it?

What would you have me say, Doctor?

Spock here.

We have a read-out on the tractor field.

We can estimate
its approximate completion time.

l shall be there shortly.

Doctor, l believe we each have
our respective tasks to complete

before the Tholians complete theirs.

Captain Kirk, we thought you were...

Spock! Mr...

- Doctor, l have just seen Captain...
- Of course you have.

- We would all like to see him.
- He's alive, Doctor.

- Of course.
- Believe me! l did see him!

l did! Spock! Mr Spock!

- We're going to sickbay.
- Doctor, l'm not going mad.

l did see Captain Kirk.
l've got to get to Mr Spock.

Scott to Captain!
Scott to Captain!

Spock here. Proceed, Mr Scott.

One of our crewmen just went berserk.

Report to Dr McCoy all symptoms
noted prior to the attack. Spock out.

Dr McCoy, l have a diagnosis
of the crewman who attacked Scott.

lt was due to
the deteriorative effects of interspace.

- Yes, it's spreading throughout the ship.
- Are we any closer, Doctor?

No, except l'm positive
the theragen derivative is the answer.

lt better be the next one.

Mr Spock didn't believe me either,
did he?

Nobody saw it but you, Uhura.

Then l didn't really see him, did l?

l don't think so.

- Will l become like Chekov?
- No.

We're working hard.
We'll find an antidote.

- We're beginning to interphase.
- l'm all right.

- Scott to bridge.
- Bridge. Spock here.

- Are we slipping into interspace?
- Negative. We are stable.

Why do you ask?

l don't believe it!

What is it, Mr Scott?

- Mr Scott?
- Mr Spock, l've just seen Captain Kirk.

He was standing there just as plain
as we are. And then he disappeared.

Report to the bridge immediately.

Do you suppose there's any truth in it?

ln critical moments, men sometimes see
what they wish to see.

Are they seeing Jim because
they've lost confidence in you?

- l was merely stating a fact.
- lt's critical.

There have been a number of assaults.
Even Scotty's being affected.

lf Scotty goes under, we lose
our chance of getting out of here.

Please leave that to me.
The crew are your prime concern.

You can best serve them confined
in your laboratory finding a remedy.


lt must be this space.
lt's getting to me too.

l know it's nothing you've done.
l'm sorry.

l understand. l'm sure the captain
would have said, "Forget it, Bones."

Mr Spock, look!




- Am l all right?
- Yes, you're fine.

- Then what l saw...
- lt was real.

- Captain Kirk's alive?
- We all saw him. He's still alive.

Nurse Chapel here. The results of
the last theragen test ready for you.

l'll be right there.

Your fears were correct. The phaser
blasted through that space fabric,

and only heaven knows
where it sent the Defiant.

Exactly. But the captain remained.
Only the overlap time changed.

The next interphase will occur here.
Can you be ready?

That will be about 20 minutes.
She'll be back together.

- But we'll only have about 80% power.
- It will have to do.


- What have you got there?
- Compliments of the house.

- To your good health and the crew's.
- You've found the antidote.

Yes, and l've ordered it
for everyone aboard the ship.

l would like for you gentlemen
to drink it down.

Has Ensign Chekov responded to it?

He is his smiling self again,
and l've discharged him.

- What is it?
- lt's a theragen derivative.

A nerve gas used by the Klingons.

And deadly, too!
Are you trying to kill us all?

lt caused fatality
only when used in pure form.

And in this derivative,
mixed with alcohol,

it merely deadens
certain nerve inputs to the brain.

Any decent brand of Scotch will do that.

A slug of this and you could hit a man
with a phaser stun and he'd never feel it

or even know it.

- Does it make a good mix with Scotch?
- lt should.

l'll let you know.

Drink it down, Spock.
lt's the human thing to do.

That's a medical order...Captain.

- Welcome back, Lieutenant.
- Thank you, sir.

- Your absence was keenly felt.
- Thank you.

- Estimated time for web completion.
- Two minutes.

ls the ship ready for entry
into interspace?

The ship can drive
at interspace at any time.

Spock to engineering.
Prepare for interphase in 15 seconds.

- Standing by.
- They're getting ready to close the web.

lnterphase in ten seconds.


- Stand by with full power.
- She's only up to 76%.

- lt will have to do.

Ready to transport on my order.

- l see him!
- There he is!

The tractor field is activated.

- Try to maintain position.
- l can't, sir.

Bring ship's power up to full capability.

Where are we now, Mr Spock?

We've destroyed the Tholians' web!

Negative. Utilising ship's power
has thrown us clear of it.

Compute the distance
from the original location.

- Have we lost the captain?
- We shall soon see.

The ship has been drawn 2.72 parsecs
distant from our previous position.

The captain was in our transporter beam
when we were thrown clear

so he should have been drawn here.

- Spock to transporter room.
- McCoy here.

The captain's oxygen supply
is running out now.

Be standing by with a hypo
of tri-ox compound.


Prepare to transport
on the captain's coordinates.

Ready, Mr Spock.

Mr Spock, it's him! lt's the captain!

l see him, Ensign.

l see him.

Now, Doctor.

- Bones.
- Welcome home, Jim.

l had a whole universe to myself
after the Defiant was thrown out.

There was absolutely no one else in it.

l must say, l prefer
a crowded universe much better.

- How did you get along?
- We managed.

Mr Spock gave the orders
and l found the answers.

- Good. No problems between you?
- None worth reporting, Captain.

Try me.

Only such minor disturbances as are
inevitable when humans are involved.

Which humans?

He means when humans
become involved with Vulcans.

Ah, yes. l understand.

l hope my last orders were helpful
in solving any problems.

- Orders, Captain?
- What orders are you referring to?

My last orders.
The last orders that l left for both of you.

- The last taped orders.
- Those orders.

We never had a chance
to listen to them.

The crisis was upon us and then passed
so quickly that we never...


Well, l hope we won't have
similar opportunities

to test those orders
which you never heard.

- Ahead warp factor 2, Mr Sulu.
- Warp factor 2, sir.